Cody: Gavin's replacement must 'not try to be Jim Gavin'

Cody: Gavin's replacement must 'not try to be Jim Gavin'

Brian Cody, the most successful GAA manager of all time, has urged Jim Gavin's replacement in Dublin to be himself and to not fall into the trap of attempting to emulate his predecessor.

Gavin has called it quits as Dublin manager after guiding his county to six All-Ireland titles in seven seasons, five less than Cody has managed in his 21-seasons in charge of the Kilkenny hurlers so far.

Former Dublin star Dessie Farrell, who led the county to All-Ireland U-21 titles in 2014 and 2017, and a minor win in 2012, is the strong favourite to step up.

Jason Sherlock, Paul Clarke, and Declan Darcy, all part of Gavin's senior backroom team this year, and Mick Bohan, the three-in-a-row All-Ireland winning Dublin ladies manager, will be strongly linked too though business commitments may rule 2011 All-Ireland winning boss Pat Gilroy.

Cody said what's most important is that whoever gets the job is brave enough to do it their way and to not try to replicate what Gavin did.

Asked if Gavin's boots will be difficult to fill, Cody told RTE Radio 1: "That's understandable that everyone will think like that but at the same time whoever comes in next has to come in and be himself and not try to be Jim Gavin, that's the biggest mistake he could make as far as I'm concerned.

"There are top class people looking after Dublin football and the decision they make will be (to appoint) the person they believe will be the person who can do the job in a very, very good way. I'd be certain there's many, many people up there qualified to do that."

Bohan, Dublin's skills coach in 2013 when they won their first All-Ireland under Gavin, has previously stated there's 'not a chance' he would ever succeed Gavin.

Speaking last December, Bohan said he wouldn't be able to give the same level of commitment to the role as Gavin.

"Mark these words, I'll tell you one thing, at that level, not a chance, I could not do it," said Bohan.

"It's almost like running a mini-company. I don't know how he does it, I really don't. So senior county management with Dublin? No, not a chance."

Bohan reiterated recently that he was in awe of the effort Gavin put in while Cody praised what the 1995 All-Ireland winner with Dublin achieved as a manager 'on a consistent basis for a long number of years'.

Cody said: "Also what stands out very much is the quality of football that Dublin have been playing over all those years. It's been top class."

Cody came up just short of completing the five-in-a-row with Kilkenny in 2010 though Gavin achieved it in September when Dublin overcame Kerry after a replay.

"Obviously there's a big thing around the five-in-a-row because it hadn't been done before and you can allow that pressure get to you or not get to you but it never impinged on what Dublin were trying to achieve," said Cody.

"Jim had the responsibility of keeping the thing going, of keeping it fresh and you could never anticipate for certain what team he was going to pick. He had a panel of players there and he worked that panel very well. Some great players didn't always play and that was a sign of his independent mind and the way he could always do the thing that he believed was right for the team."

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